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Inspirational women leaders at Macquarie

“There has been rapid change in women’s rights, but further change is needed,” says Deputy Leader of the Federal Australian Labor Party, Julia Gillard MP.

Ms Gillard was the keynote speaker at the 19th Women, Management and Employment Relations Conference.

Jointly hosted by the Labour-Mangement Studies Foundation at Macquarie University and the Macquarie Graduate School of Management, the conference attracted over 200 business women.

To be professionally successful, Ms Gillard believes women need to “have a sense of yourself, be firm and have a good sense of humour.”

Before entering the male-dominated world of politics, Ms Gillard was the only female partner in the law firm Slater and Gordon.

As well as discussing politics, Ms Gillard demonstrated the need for humour with anecdotes about when she had been criticised in the media for her hairstyle, or lack of fruit in her kitchen. 

“Leadership is about what you can do, not what you look like,” says Ms Gillard who is a supporter of the aims of the conference.

Over 200 business women attended the high-profile event hosted by Macquarie University


Deputy Leader of the Australian Labor Party, Julia Gillard MP (right)
 was the one of the keynote speakers at the 19th Women, Management and Employment Relations Conference

"This is the leading workplace relations conference for women in Australia. The conference has a particularly useful focus and will explore issues of importance to all women in management and employee relations roles."

Another high profile speaker was by Nanda Pok, Founder and Executive Director of Women for Prosperity (WFP), Cambodia.

A refugee who fled to the US just before Pol Pot took control of Cambodia, Nanda returned in 1992, determined to be part of the reconstruction of her country. Nanda wanted to teach more women how to be effective leaders, to build their confidence and empower them to be vocal and outspoken.  Through WFP she has trained over 5000 women to hold political office.

Other leading women who spoke at the conference include Anna McPhee (Director, EOWA), Margot Spalding (Telstra Business Women of the Year 2006), Dr Kerry Schott, MD (Sydney Water), Professor Chai Feldblum (Georgetown University Law Center, Washington D.C.) and Dr Philippa Reed, (CEO, EEO Trust of New Zealand).

To read transcripts of speeches and hear radio interviews with the high profile speakers, visit the Division of Economic and Financial Studies website.


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